a PhD student showing her research data to her two supervisors

Rowling Scholars clinical PhD scheme

Rowling Scholars clinical PhD scheme

The Rowling Scholars scheme is a flagship PhD fellowship scheme for aspiring top clinical academics in any field related to Regenerative Neuroscience.

The expansion of world-class translational research as a priority in the UK is vitally dependent on a fluent cross-talk between basic scientists in the lab and hospital-based clinicians. Yet no matter how successful, these two essential partners speak largely different languages, are equipped with different skills, and use different tools to approach problems.

A clinician-scientist can bridge that gap.

Regenerative Neurology

Working in Regenerative Neurology you will be at the heart of the emerging discipline of Regenerative Medicine: pioneering state-of-the-art new approaches to problems that would have seemed insurmountable only a few years ago, and tackling common brain diseases for which there are no effective treatments.

Undertaking a training fellowship with a Rowling Scholarship can provide the foundation on which to build a successful career as a future leader in academic medicine or translational neuroscience.

About the scheme

The Rowling Scholars scheme aims to attract, inspire and nurture the next generation of regenerative clinician-neuroscientists.

Professor Siddharthan ChandranDirector of the Anne Rowling Regenerative Neurology Clinic

Because the Rowling Scholars have clear interests and career intentions, there are no 'ready-made' PhD projects on offer. Instead, potential Scholars choose a supervisor whose interests match their own from the diverse Edinburgh Neuroscience pool, and after discussions, draw up an outline project.

Rowling Scholars are then guided and mentored to generate pilot data and write successful clinical fellowship applications to the UKRI Research Councils and major charities such as Wellcome. Scholoars also receive a minimum of 1-year's salary on a clinical scale plus an allowance for research consumables and travel. 

Rowling Scholars register for a PhD on the most appropriate University of Edinburgh degree programme.


  • The Rowling Scholars scheme is open to those eligible for, or engaged in, specialty higher specialist training in the UK (including MRCP or equivalent) in any field related to Regenerative Neuroscience
  • Candidates must demonstrate the clear intention, ability and ambition to pursue a career in academic medicine
  • Candidates should have prior research experience, e.g., an intercalated degree

Enquiries and how to apply

There is no formal application round for Rowling Scholars.

Informal preliminary enquiries should be made by emailing Professor Siddharthan Chandran at any time.

Why choose Edinburgh?

From day one, Rowling Scholars become part of the vibrant and collegiate Edinburgh Neuroscience community. In the most recent Research Excellence Framework, REF2014, Edinburgh Neuroscience was rated 3rd in the UK (out of 82) for Overall Research Power (THE, Dec15) which takes into account the breadth and quality of research, its societal impact and the quality of research environment. Research environment received the maximum score of 100% 4* (world-leading).

For more information about research, teaching, support, career prospects and life at the University of Edinburgh, visit the Postgraduate study pages of the University of Edinburgh website.

Meet the Rowling Scholars

Draw inspiration from the profiles of our current Scholars and alumni.